Tuesday, February 12, 2008

From the Race Front: TERRY MADL

On last weekend's Rocky Raccoon Race in Huntsville, TX

What surprised you most about the race?
Not much. I had done the RR50 in 07, so I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. But the course was in even better condition with no spots under water, and all of those new boardwalks. Of course you still have to be on constant lookout for roots. This is really a wonderful course.

What advice helped you achieve your goal?
Well my first goal is always to finish (which I did), but I didn't hit the time I had hoped for. What I did learn was that no matter how you prepare, you always have to be ready to make adjustments on race day. So many things can happen when you're pushing the limits like we do in ultra distances. My training felt right--I was really strong when/where I wanted to be. My food/nutrition plan went well--no stomach problems, and I felt like I had plenty of energy throughout the race. But I developed a problem with my left hip that was a leftover from a 'little tweak' I felt during my long training run a week before. By the third loop if felt like I had dislocated it or something. Just about that time I kicked a root with my right foot and drove one of my toenails back into my toe. Needless to say, the 3rd loop became more about finishing than about setting a personal best time. In the end, that was fine; it was the best I could do on that day and I was happy with the result.

Did you meet any new friends on the course?
Not really on the course (where I pretty much stay to myself). But there was plenty of time to visit with new friends before and after the race. That was really great.

Is there something you learned that you'll use in future races (good, bad, or ugly!)
I guess there is a fine line between approaching each race with a willingness to adapt and possibly back-off when necessary (as I noted above in #2), as opposed to digging down and pushing hard for a tough objective. The more of these I do, the better I think I can manage that line.

Any words of advice for others thinking about doing an ultra?
If you're going to do an ultra, get really serious about training and nutrition. It is hard to explain what a challenge it is for both body and mind. I think ultra distances are way more mental than marathons. The one way to start preparing for that mental challenge is by putting in the long training runs. But I think you have to be just as committed to the rest of a well-rounded training regimen or else you'll beat yourself up and risk injury. That's where Lisa's program has really helped me out a lot. I'm not as young as I used to be, so I need to remain injury free during the intense training plan. Hey, it really works! Next stop: MDS!!

1 comment:

Lisa Smith-Batchen said...


I love watching how focused you are on the course and how smooth your running looks all the time.
I think your race was so well done thinking you drove all the way from Chicagos awful weather to the heat!
MDS here you come:)